With 60% of our residents identified as Latino, many celebrated the historical milestone made last night as Mayor Pro Tem John Aguilar became Cathedral City’s first Latino mayor. Aguilar received a standing ovation after taking his Oath of Office with his husband, Bruce, standing next to him in support. That, too, was a first for Cathedral City having a first husband of a mayor in a same-sex marriage.
Mayor Aguilar was elected by the voters to the City Council on November 8, 2016. He had previously served on the Council as an appointed member from September 2014 to early December 2014, and once more following former Councilmember Stan Henry’s certified election to Mayor in December 2014 to December 2016. Aguilar accepted the council seat in order to encourage greater participation from Cathedral City’s Hispanic community as well as other underrepresented communities. Mayor Aguilar believes strongly in a government that is transparent and open to all residents, a government that works collaboratively with local businesses and community-based organizations, and a government that strives to increase the City’s economic development for creating more jobs, housing options, and opportunities for its residents.
Recently retired from Riverside County, Mayor Aguilar served as Deputy Director for Riverside County Economic Development Agency’s Housing Authority.
Mayor Aguilar presented a ceremonial gavel to outgoing Mayor Mark Carnevale who will continue to serve on the City Council as a councilmember representing District 3. Cathedral City’s mayor position rotates among the councilmember with each serving for one year as mayor. Mayor Aguilar also presented a bouquet of flowers to outgoing First Lady Rhonda Carnevale for her volunteer work with the City and her support of Councilmember Carnevale in his efforts to lead the city. Aguilar thanked the rest of the council for working collaboratively together on the Council’s goals of moving Cathedral City forward along with the tremendous progress made over the last several years.
Additionally, the Cathedral City Gay Business Association and the Cathedral City Fire Department presented awards to outgoing Mayor Mark Carnevale for his service to the city as a mayor and being a positive role model during a difficult year. Mayor Mark Carnevale was appointed as mayor after the unexpected passing of former Mayor Greg Pettis in January 2019.
Finally, Councilmember Raymond Gregory of District 5 also took an Oath of Office last night as he was appointed to mayor pro tem and will serve in that capacity for one year before becoming the next mayor of Cathedral City.